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Advocacy: Help to expand the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

November 2011

Thousands of Australians will die unnecessarily unless the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is expanded in the 2012–13 federal budget. You can make a difference by contacting your local MP.

The program was introduced in the 2005–06 budget. It has now been more than six years and it hasn't been expanded. It currently only screens men and women aged 50, 55 and 65. We want to see this expanded beyond the three age groups and recommend that people 50 and over screen for bowel cancer every two years.

Most people aren't aware that bowel cancer is the second biggest cancer killer of men and women in Australia. This is why building awareness and screening for bowel cancer is so important. What's especially tragic about so many people dying from bowel cancer is that in 90 per cent of cases, it can be cured if found in the early stages.

Cancer Council CEO Ian Olver says, "For so many people to die because of delays in government investment is a tragedy. This government has done some great things in cancer policy, such as plain packaging for tobacco products and capital funding for cancer services, so why are we still waiting for expansion to the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program?"

You can help save lives. Urge your local MP to join the campaign and lobby government for a fully funded National Bowel Cancer Screening Program. You can do this by visiting our campaign website at Get Behind Bowel Screening and email your local MP.

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